I hope so. I really don’t think I’m the only one.
A common illustration for many of us comes from the movie Up (Disney/Pixar) where a dog named Dug – who can talk, thanks to a device strapped around his neck – constantly interrupts himself because he gets distracted (generally by a SQUIRREL!!).
The truth about those of us who find ourselves occasionally distracted is that there are times that we are distracted by helpful or positive things; and sometimes we are distracted by things that are negative or harmful things; and of course there are all kinds of in-betweens.
Sometimes in the Church office, I can get distracted by Facebook or the latest news or even whatever song was just shuffled into my playlist. Sometimes there’s a general lack of focus where everything is distracting!
Not long ago, I was here on a Wednesday night. It would be fair to say that my responsibilities on these nights are based around a ministry of presence. I walk around and meet new people, I check in with familiar people, I help people get connected with those who can best serve their needs. One night in particular, I was pretty focused on something that – quite frankly – wasn’t about our Wednesday Night ministries, when I found myself distracted by one of our guests who simply wanted to talk.
And so I took that time to be distracted. I took that time to listen. I took that time away from that well-intentioned focus and instead listened to a life story. And it was beautiful.
I don’t mean to say that the story was beautiful. It wasn’t. It was tragic and depressing and heart-wrenching. The beautiful part was that two people sat together from dramatically different lives and cultures and experience and simply shared the same space and the same air.
And I realized, the conversation should not have been the distraction. It should have been the focus. In all things we do, our focus should be love. It should be the center of every decision we make, of every step we take, of every intake of breath.
Dug from the movie Up has this understanding already. In an early scene, Dug approaches someone he’s just met and says, “My name is Dug. I have just met you and I love you.” It is his singular focus (except for the occasional SQUIRREL!).
I want to be like that. I want for us all to be like that. Because that’s the expression of Jesus that was – and is – so wholly different. Let the world know who we are because of how we love.
Grace and peace to you all…